VISAKHAPATNAM / NEW DELHI: At least 39 people were killed and more than 80 injured after the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed near Kuneru railway station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh late on Saturday night. Even as the authorities are not ruling out the sabotage angle, exact reasons are yet to be ascertained.
According to sources, the Home Ministry may ask the NIA to probe the case.
“There are indications of foul play as a goods train passed the same track just two hours before the mishap. Inspection by the patrol team also found the track okay yesterday,” said Railway spokesperson Anil Kumar Saxena.
Of the 39 deceased, 23 bodies were identified by late Sunday evening. Among them, seven belonged to Andhra Pradesh, while the rest were from Odisha. The incident took place between 11 pm and 11.45 pm on Saturday, when the train was heading towards Bhubaneswar.
Of the total 22 compartments, eight coaches including a two-tier AC coach, a three-tier AC coach, two sleeper coaches, two general coaches, and a few others swerved off the track.
The four immediate compartments behind the engine: two general coaches and two compartments of Sleeper Class (S8 and S9) felt the most impact and 90 per cent of the victims were travelling in these four compartments.